Making the claudio Gadget

I’ve looked all over here and at WP, but I can’t seem to find anything describing how to make the Claudio Gadget for sailmaking. Are there any sources (in English?)

What I did so far was to take a 1x6x18 plank of nice oak and cut a 1/4 inch strip off one of the long edges.


There are photographs and some English translation within the original thread. I followed those and have now built several sails using the gadget. I’m about to build some more.

No… Not the instructiona about how to use it. I would like to know HOW TO MAKE THE TOOL.


Yes - I understand. I made the tool. I had nothing to go from except the thread in question. From the photographs in the thread and the explanation of how to use the tool, I felt I had enough information on how to make it.

Than about the only question one might have is how long to make it? Mine is 15 inches plus and inch on each end for the clamps.


With regard to length - two comments:

Depending on the flexibility of the aluminum you are using as the “curve” - the longer the gadget, the easier it will be to induce the bend you want with the wedges:

Other than that, it really only need to be long enough to accommodate the widest chord of the sails you intend to make.

The aluminum track I used happened to be 32" long (I think) so I made my gadget around that.

The gadget also needs to have the appropriate lengths to go along with the chart, so you can pick the right size wedges/spacers.

Recently, I got the bug to build a Gadget (is there an ‘official’ name for this jig?), but even though I found what seems to be the original thread, I was unable to get any of the original pictures or article to “come up”.

I remember enough about it from the original discussion to make something similar, but I was hoping to get some details right, and the memory grows fuzzy with time …

Are there any photos, diagrams, etc. that would help some of us fledgling sail hackers?


This is about the best example I can think of.

The block is rectangular, long enough to span a sail’s panel, plus a little on the ends for the spacers and clamps, and the bent bar is made of 1/4 inch plexiglass or aluminum, or something that will bend smoothly. The two holes are in both the block and through the flex bar at the 40% and 50% positions of the chord of the sail panel. Obviously, you’ll put a screw through at the desired mark. You’d normally center the panel on the 50% mark, and then line up the 40% marks. Or even go for a different % spot to for the maximum depth of the sail.


Tomohawk…This is exactly what I attempted to make last night. I bought an aluminum piece of ‘u’ channel, probably 42" long. I chopped it in half in case I really screw up my first attempt. This 1/2" U channel may be too stiff, and the wood base may be too soft, as I had a little trouble creating what I thought was a good bend for broadseaming. Sorry, no pics yet…but I did manage to wring off the head of the first screw when building the ‘claudio gadget’. I’ll try to start documenting better. We’ll see how it turns out…I think I was able to make some 1/16" broadseams in a new experiment jib for my Victoria…right now it is just a pile of panels stuck together!

Another SWAG was luff curve…If I remember my notes, I think I’ve drawn 1/8" max in the luff curve about 40% of the way up the sail. I have no clue(clew?)! :smiley:

What is everyone using to create smooth curves for luff curve, foot round, etc…??I am thinking maybe some relatively small diameter wooden dowels would provide decent smooth radius characteristics? Right now I am just kinda digging around in the garage for stuff.

What did you use for the wood base part? I used a piece of 1x6 x18 oak ( for ‘stiffness’ and it will be stable.) I will be installing two brass threaded inserts for the screw at about the 40% and 50% spots. That way the screw will go in & out easy. Probably #8 or #10 threads either coarse or fine should be good enough to hold about anything. You may also want to cut your U-channel down some more to only have a strip for bending. You could probably even get away with a length of 1/4 inch square balsa! It’s just to hold the taking stuff/tape until you get the panels together.


Might want try an email to him - and ask for a repost of photos if gone, or a set of attachment photos and maybe suggest a post to AMYA website where all can see?

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I was able to see all the pictures when reviewing this post…which I just did for about the 5th time. I am not 100% sure I’ve used the gadget correctly, but the pictures worked in the thread. Particularly about post #327 there is a comprehensive claudio review, and it is (mostly) in English! I printed out posts 327 thru 329 which seems to be a great summary if that’s what you (jaxsail) are looking for.

Hi…I just grabbed a piece of scrap 1"x3" or so that I had laying around…it is harder than pine, but after cutting up a hard plastic strips for wedges, I could see that I had made a dent in the wood. I have a woodworking buddy, I need a strip of some nice hard oak! I think the main problem is my alum is too thick…after reviewing the long sailmaking thread, claudio made one reference to the size of his alum strip, and I believe mine to likely be too heavy and stiff for this application. I seem to remember hanging tons of new curtain rods around the house recently, I am sure my wife has some old stuff laying around!! :lol:

Keep an eye open on trash day to spot some 1/4 inch plexiglass stuff. It will probably be the best thing ( oe some bendy plastic stuff?)

Likewise - I just pulled some timber from my pile - it’s probably about 1" x 2.5". The aluminum I used is a half box section of about 1/2" x 1/4" that does the job just fine. It is screwed in with a regular wood screw. I have galvanized angle brackets at each end to take the clamps - it is all very low-tech.

I only have one screw and don’t much care whether it is at 40% or whatever, as I use Sail-Cut to produce templates which I then use to set the curve, marking the point of maximum draft along the chord of each piece of sail material to be joined - which is then lined up with the screw. My method is described within the original thread.

The sails I made for my Victoria have proved competitive at club level.

I’m not the only person to think of using angle stuff on the ends for the clamps. You could also use a screw sticking out, or cut a notch on the end for the clamps.

[quote=sastanley;39643]I was able to see all the pictures when reviewing this post…which I just did for about the 5th time. I am not 100% sure I’ve used the gadget correctly, but the pictures worked in the thread. Particularly about post #327 there is a comprehensive claudio review, and it is (mostly) in English! I printed out posts 327 thru 329 which seems to be a great summary if that’s what you (jaxsail) are looking for.


somehow, in reviewing this thread, I kept stopping at links to original (French site) article, which Claudio later explains were deleted due to politics. I truly appreciate the update. :wink:

I have some heavy melamine-covered shelf pieces for the base, and plan on using some lexan corner-guard (wallcovering accessory) pieces for the flex part. Will let you all know how it works…

The key to Claudio’s gadget, the thing that makes it work, is that with proper use you can easily put a beautifully-shaped wrinkle into one panel just before you attach the mating panel. When the two are then removed from the gadget, the airfoil shape has been built in.

Except for fine points, then, it doesn’t matter whether the gadget’s flexible beam flexes out in the middle while held at the ends, or flexes out at the ends while held in the middle. It also doesn’t matter what is used to put the bend into the flexible beam. I tap holes in the beam and use machine screws to jack the beam into the shape I want. While I use calipers with a digital readout to set the amount by which I jack the beam, you might just as well count turns of the machine screws. With a 1/4 - 20 screw, for instance, each full turn jacks the beam by 1/20 of an inch, or 0.05 inches. Adding a half turn will add 1/40 of an inch, or 0.025 inches. Etc.

With broadseaming, it is necessary to learn something about the characteristics of the broadseaming block being used. It’s about the same with Claudio’s gadget. The length of the flexible beam, and the relative locations of the fixed points and the jacking points, all come into play. The gadget makes it easy to construct a beautiful seam with extra material in the right places, but the precise results are not easily predicted beforehand. The big advantage for me of the gadget over a broadseaming block is that I find the gadget much easier to use.

Mike Biggs

Hi everybody
I was absent for long, very busy winth my Vintage scale model.
I have just discover this tread therefore I bring the answer to the initial question.
Several photos follows 4 by 4 :


the follow on images :